I Heart Stones Throw

Posted by Smiles Davis, May 29, 2009 02:08pm | Post a Comment
stones throw records
What’s the best thing about living in Los Angeles? If you guessed Amoeba Records, you were close (we’re second-- actually first, according to LA Magazine). The correct answer, or I should say, the appropriate answer, is the surfeit of open-minded music aficionados that breathe and walk the streets every day. Being able to find inspiring and mood altering music readily at your disposal is the sweetest candy; being able to share it with like minded individuals who will appreciate it and celebrate it as much as you is priceless. That is why I heart Stones Throw. The air over at the Stones Throw headquarters is thick with bubbling ingenuity and relentlessness blended meticulously with an appetite for exploring outside the box. With artists like Madlib, Aloe Blacc, Damn Funk and Mayer Hawthorne leaving the swagger and overactive egos at the door, Stones Throw has singlehandedly redefined the definition of cool.

Giles Peterson dubbed Aloe Blaccs last album, Shine Through, as simply “brilliant” and I agree 110%. It's R&B, it's hip-hop, it's in two languages, and it's magic to my ears. I was fortunate enough to catch up with the bilingual, multi-instrumentalist crooner and emcee to ask him about his relationship with Stones Throw, his love for music, his upcoming album, the return of Emanon, and some of his favorite new artists.

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Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2009 07:37am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:29:09
Eminem Relapse
1) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)

2) Method Man & Redman Blackout! 2 (Def Jam)

3) The Grouch & Eligh Say G&E! (Legendary Music)

4) Busta Rhymes Back On My B.S. (Flipmode/Universal Motown)

5) Tanya Morgan Brooklynati (Interdependent Media)

Eminem's latest full-length, Relapse on Shady/Aftermath/Interscope is the Detroit artist's sixth studio album and his first in five years. It is also in the number slot on the hip-hop chart at Amoeba Music Berkeley this week, just as it ranked last week at the Amoeba Hollywood store. The 20 track album from the 35 year old artist, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, comes 13 years since his independantly released debut album Infinite, and exactly ten years since his major label breakthrough and first album through Dr Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, The Slim Shady LP.  Dr. Dre not only produced most of the new album (and its promised sequel in a few months) but Dre also cameos on the track "Crack A Bottle" with 50 Cent. As for the reaction to Relapse? It is charting high at Amoeba and elsewhere. Even here in Dublin, Ireland, where I am writing this Amoeblog, it is given high profile in and getting high sales at all the main record stores. But also here in Europe, as in the States, the album has folks divided into the two camps of either loving or hating it. Those who hate it include many former Eminem fans who contend that he has fallen off and is merely going through the motions. Those who love it do admit that it takes a few listens to fully appreciate and warn the faint of heart to be prepared for Em's often unsettling, disturbingly vivid tales of violence and abuse, including, of course, drug abuse, which is the album's theme, based on the artist's open admission to a prescription drugs addiction. 

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Lalo Guerrero "Pancho Claus" b/w "The Burrito"

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 29, 2009 02:09am | Post a Comment
I was going through some singles I had recently purchased and one of them was one by Lalo Guerrero. It wasn’t one of his most famous songs, but it's a great single nonetheless. "Pancho Claus" b/w "The Burrito" was released in 1969 on Cap Latino Records. By then, Lalo was touring and recording with his son, Mark, and his band, Mark & The Escorts. According to Mark Guerrero's website, “Pancho Claus” was a newer version of his classic Christmas song, which he originally recorded in the fifties. It’s the Chicano version of Twas The Night Before Christmas, with mother cooking Enchiladas (I wonder why Lalo didn't mention tamales? Even my Non-Mexican friends know that's when you get tamales? hmmm...), while Dad dances Mambos with the all the ladies. Rather than the kids sleeping, they are listening to The Beatles. During that part of the song, Mark & The Escorts break into “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The original 1950s version referred to Elvis, but since it was 1969, Lalo wanted to stay with the times. The next verse describes a drunken uncle that will surely end the fun and prevent Pancho Claus from visiting the household. Eventually, Pacho Claus appears, but not before the drunken uncle breaks into a version of the Mexican classic “Guadalajara.”

The flipside is even better. “El Burrito” is a song about a guy eating a burrito with a girlfriend. The chorus goes: “I’ll bite on one end, you’ll bite on the other, we’ll meet in the middle and then oh brother, we’ll kiss and kiss until we smother, and when it’s gone, we’ll order another.” It’s one of those double-meaning songs that ends with the mother catching the couple sharing the burrito. The mother takes the daughter home and Lalo is left all alone with just his burrito in his hand.

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This Week At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2009 11:19pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

The full June Calendar is online!

Friday & Saturday May 29 & 30


Back to the Future Trilogy Marathon
All tickets are $10 for this special event.
One ticket admits you to all three films!

Great Scott! Dr. Emmett Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd, will appear IN PERSON Friday night, schedule permitting.

Actress Claudia Wells, Jennifer in the original film, will appear IN PERSON both nights to discuss her film work.
Check out Claudia's new website, too!

Actor Jeffrey Weissman who played George McFly in Parts II & III will be on hand Friday to talk about both movies!

Back to the Future (1985)
dir. Robert Zemeckis, starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells
7:30, Watch The Trailer!

Vinyl Confidential, 2.1 -- The Brief History of 45’s, Part One

Posted by Whitmore, May 28, 2009 08:42pm | Post a Comment

The whole brief history of 45’s comes down to about two and a half minutes of heartbreak and a music industry coked up on millions of nickels and dimes from ten year olds spending their allowance. Aaah! But the joy in the weird, seemingly up the arse, off-the-cuff business decisions arbitrarily slung together.  
Why seven inches, and not six… phallic compensation? Why a big whole instead of a small one … phallic compensation! There must be some kind of underlying order and logic to all this, I guess. Then again, I'm no expert on logic and order-- I spend most of my thinking time in the absurd, geeky universe of 45's.   
The 7” 45 rpm record was introduced in 1949 by RCA as a smaller, more durable and marketable way to sell records to teenagers. In between crashing jalopies and begetting the next generation at lover’s lanes across the nation, all the flattop cats and the dungaree dolls were done playing Dad’s deadsville 78 rpm shellac platters at sock-hops. The Second World War brought new technology into the marketplace, the unbreakable disc was born, changing and dominating the industry for the next 40 years.
The first 45 rpm records were monophonic...and probably should have stayed there in its sepia toned aural perfection. But a few years later technology once again wielded new brawn, cutting a swath through the new middle class’ piggy banks and their want for shiny new electric toys. In the 1950’s and 60’s stereophonic sound looked too fancy to ignore, capturing the imagination by way of graphic designs carving up the backs of entire album covers with a geometry textbook fill of charts, dials and numbers. To starry eyes, this was the conduit to the modern world, chock-full of jetpacks, personal robots, self guided automobiles and scrumptious TV dinners. Except for the occasional monophonic promo record pressed for AM radio play, by the early 1970s almost all 45 rpm records were produced in stereo, though coincidentally, we’re still waiting on everything else promised by those rosy sci-fi prognosticators. I suspect color TV was invented specifically to take the edge off all the disappointments.  
Records, like bodies, like the Earth, are not necessarily made to move smoothly on curved orbits by a force called commerce. The cheapest and quickest way for record companies to track the newest new thing in a curved space was always 7” singles. Etched into each side is the shortest distance to a musicians sound, the fastest way to contemplate their muse, value, and the least painful way to navigate the unknown until the slow fade at grooves end has left your head either bopping or shaking. But sometimes the manufactured pre-determined length of a 45 was woefully insufficient. Old school set of natural law insisted three minutes was more than adequate. (Though on occasion editing could be conspicuously delicious, slicing out the unnecessary crap to get to a song’s hook: for example, the original single versions of "American Pie," "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and "Thong Song"...) Eventually 12” 45’s, unhampered by space and time, boogied down the pike and unhinged the pulse, setting off the ballroom floor, teaching matter how to dance and in particular small objects traveling along the straightest possible lines in curved space. Anyway, the cosmos continues to evolve in its typical way; Earth continues to revolve -- though not at 45 revolutions per minute -- and my blather continues to dissolve in its typical way ...

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